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Abstract

The kinetics of ethene and propene polymerization at 20–60°C in the presence of the homogeneous catalyst system rac-Me2Si(2-methyl-4-phenyl-1-indenyl)2ZrCl2/methylaluminoxane was investigated by means of stopped-flow techniques. The specific rate of chain propagation, measured at the very short reaction times typical of this method, turned out to be ≈102 times higher for ethene than for propene; this suggests that diffusion limitations through the poly(ethylene) precipitating at longer reaction times may be responsible for the fact that the two monomers polymerize instead at comparable rates under “standard” conditions. It was also found that the concentration of active sites is significantly lower than the analytical Zr concentration.